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Claustrophobia Common Cause of Refusing Breast Screening

Study finds only about 60 percent of high-risk women agree to magnetic resonance imaging

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Only about 60 percent of women at high risk of breast cancer who are undergoing regular mammography and ultrasound screenings agree to supplemental screening by magnetic resonance imaging, with claustrophobia being the most common reason, according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.

Wendie A. Berg, M.D., from American Radiology Services in Lutherville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from 1,215 women at high risk of breast cancer who were eligible for single contrast material-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging after three previous annual mammographies and ultrasounds.

The researchers found that 57.9 percent of women agreed to participate in the magnetic resonance substudy. Women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer was at least 25 percent were more likely to participate (odds ratio, 1.55). The most common reasons given for declining participation were claustrophobia (25.4 percent), time constraints (18.2 percent), and financial concerns (12.1 percent).

"Our results may help to inform public health agencies that recommend breast magnetic resonance imaging screening in subgroups of women at increased risk of breast cancer, as there appear to be large groups of women in whom alternative screening strategies should be considered," Berg and colleagues conclude.

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